The Central University of Orissa has been established by the Parliament under the Central Universities Act, 2009 (No. 3C of 2009). It is one of the 15 new Central Universities established by the Government of India during the UGC XI Plan period to address the concerns of "equity and access" and as per the policy of the Government of India to increase the access to quality higher education by people in less educationally developed districts which have a Graduate Enrollment Ratio of less than the national average of 11%. Koraput District of Orissa comes within the KBK region (Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi) which is still considered as an extremely as underdeveloped region of the State of Orissa .These three districts of the State are known for tribal culture, because majority of the people here belong to ST and SC categories. Since there is no University or any other national level educational set up in this region the Central University is proposed to be established here so that it may widen the access to quality higher education in the country.
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